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Should You Ever Avoid Your Check Engine Light?

Your check engine light is one that you might hope you never see, partly because of the fear that it means a big repair. We understand that here at Star Motors European, but it’s vital that you never ignore or avoid your check engine light. Finding out what’s happening now can solve big problems later.

It Could Indicate a Transmission Problem

You might not realize this, but the transmission doesn’t have its own warning light. There’s limited space on your European car’s dashboard for lights and gauges, and typically transmission problems aren’t the most common issue. Also, you usually have other symptoms when your transmission isn’t working well, such as transmission fluid leaks or grinding gears. The check engine light can also mean that there’s an issue with your transmission.

Your Spark Plugs Might Not Be Sparking

The spark plugs are where the magic of combustion gets the spark it needs. If your spark plugs are worn or they’re not timed properly, that means that they’re not able to spark the air and fuel mix. What happens next is that your engine isn’t able to use that combination to keep itself running. Your engine will sputter and even stall and your check engine light will come on to alert you of combustion troubles underneath the hood.

One of a Few Sensors Might Be Failing

Your European automobile’s main computer – the engine control unit (ECU) – relies on a variety of sensors to help determine what’s happening in various areas of the engine and other systems. If the mass airflow sensor or the oxygen sensor is going bad, that’s going to cause problems for your engine. Likewise, if the sensors in the ECU are going bad, that is something that needs to be corrected, too, and you might get stuck with a check engine warning.

There’s a Fuel Problem

Your car’s check engine light also lets you know about problems in your fuel system because fuel is what keeps your engine running. The most common issue is a really simple one: If your gas cap isn’t screwed on tight, your ECU will activate the check engine light. Tightening the gas cap may fix the problem, but if the light doesn’t go out after you do so, get to a mechanic. You may also have too much fuel in the combustion chamber.

Your Catalytic Converter Is in Trouble

Your catalytic converter is a part you don’t hear much from until something goes wrong. There’s no special light for this part, so you may not know right away that the check engine light is about your catalytic converter. This part is a crucial one and it involves keeping your engine healthy, but it also involves your health. A failed catalytic converter means harmful gases can get into your vehicle’s passenger cabin.

Is your check engine light on? Stop by Star Motors European in San Juan Capistrano, CA, so we can diagnose the problem in your European car or crossover.

Photo by GetUpStudio from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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